Archive for March, 2009

MobileMe replacement

March 19, 2009

I’m sick and tired of MobileMe. I seriously am. $140 a year just to sync my calendars, contacts and bookmarks across my 2 Macs, and to my iPhone OTA. $140 upfront. For a service whose iDisk doesn’t even work properly, and does not sync my subscribed cals OTA without some hacking (running a shitty buggy program that I have to PAY for, again)

So, I’ve found myself some replacements.
Having 2 Macs, I needed my cals and contacts to be consistent across the 2. I absolutely must have calendars and contacts syncing. So how do I do this? Simple. Enter Google, and Spanning Sync. Spanning Sync syncs your cals and contacts to and fro Google. And you still get web access to them, from Google’s own web apps.
The only thing you lose is OTA syncing with the iPhone, but I realised that the additional convenience does not justify the battery life I lose at the end. You can actually use Google’s new Exchange service for OTA syncing, but it will screw up your contacts as Google stores contacts in a slightly different format than Apple. Spanning Sync sorts it all out for you so your contacts look a-ok on the Mac.
Spanning Sync costs US$25 for the 1st year, US$15 for subsequent years, and US$65 for forever. Google, is of course, free.
Next, bookmarks syncing. This one is easy, Foxmarks. Bookmarks syncing across Safari, Firefox and ShitIE. You also get web access, something ME screwed you over and removed. It also has sync profiles so you can choose what bookmarks go on what machine, if you don’t want the porn you bookmarked last night appearing at work. And once again, 3 browsers. Winblows too (fox and shitie only)
Foxmarks is free.
Lastly, data syncing. This is my favourite, Dropbox. I’ve been using this for nearly 2 months now and I absolutely love it. Although the measly 2GB isn’t much, you can pay US$99 to get 50GB, and for the same price from MobileMe, you only get 20. And why the hell would you want to store so much data in the cloud anyway?
And the best part is, it works. Dropbox exists as a folder in my home folder, and the whole Dropbox folder is synced in real-time. It doesn’t matter what the directory structure is, it acts just like a drive.
And syncing data barely takes any time, I just put the file into the folder and Dropbox will tell me when it’s fully synced and ready to go. I remember back with iDisk I’ve always had to wait for the f**cking bar that never completes, and most of the time it will just crash Finder because it’s just too damn slow.
And guess what? Winbitches can use Dropbox too! And you can do collaboration with this, e.g. creating a folder inside your Dropbox that you can choose whoever to access. This is something iDisk can’t do. And it has a public folder too, for you to share your porn or whatever with the world.
Dropbox is free for 2GB, US$99 for 50GB. Just use the free one.
If you ask about push mail, I will slap you. Push anything drinks battery like water. I’ve set my phone to check my gmail every hour, and it is more than enough. Use Google. Google is free. FREE.
In total, if you go for the cheapest route above, it only costs US$25 for the first year, and US$15 for subsequent years. This, compared to US$99 a year for MobileMe, is quite a huge saving. US$65 for forever still beats US$99 every year. If you absolutely need 20GB of space in the cloud, though, you can still choose to use MobileMe, but if you manage to sync the whopping 20GB into iDisk, let me know, I will treat you to dinner. I was already having problems syncing 50MB.
There you go, if you are contemplating MobileMe but squinting because of the cost, think about these free (or significantly cheaper) alternatives I’ve listed above. Thank me later if you want.

Fixed? Not really..

March 8, 2009

After v24-TNG my internet was becoming progressively slower for no reason (1.5KB/s anyone?) so I gave up and used tomato instead. Much better. Awesome control of QoS. Everything else is fuss free.


March 3, 2009

If you are using a linksys router and DD-WRT v24-sp1, you might have realised that UPnP does not work. It never populates the UPnP table and iChat’s video chat is always laggy, or it wouldn’t even connect.

Here’s the fix. Go get v24-TNG svn10431 over at DD-WRT’s site. It’s under downloads/others/eko/V24_TNG/svn10431

Remember to reset to router defaults before and after you flash, from the main menu, not from the flashing menu. After I flashed my router it was still the old version (confusing, yes). I reset to router defaults from the main menu and then it showed the new version. Weird. But yes, UPnP is working now!